Top 10 Best High Schools in Cape Town, South Africa

With over ninety high schools in Cape Town, choosing the right school for your child is a quite important, and potentially difficult task. And just before embarking on a mission to find a perfect school for your kid, you would want to familiarise yourself with the school’s educational objective and Mission Statement to ascertain that they are in compliance with the ethos and atmosphere desired for their children.

We recently published an article on the best private schools in Cape Town. Check it out!

That said, finding the best high schools in Cape Town is as simple as it sounds, as we are actively taking the time out of our busy schedule to make a list of top schools and institutions in South Africa, and beyond.

In this article, however, we are not only going to list some of the leading high schools in Cape Town, but we are also going to provide all the necessary information that would help you make the best choice for your child.

If you’re planning to relocate to the city of Cape Town, and are searching for the best high schools in Cape Town, this article will give a complete overview of the top 10 high schools in the Cape Town region.

Check Also: Top 10 Best High Schools in Midrand

As always, it is advisable to consider this No. 1 rule of thumb: Enrol your child in a school that has adequate facilities, and offers proper and stimulating educational programs.

About the City of Cape Town

Cape Town is a vast and multi-cultural city in South Africa. It is the second-largest city in the country with a population of over 4 million. Four years after the 2010 FIFA World Cup, the city of Cape Town has been named the best place to visit by both the United States and British top newspapers.

In addition, Cape Town is South Africa’s second main economic hub. Also, a large proportion of manufacturing sectors are situated there, and the real estate business is booming across the city.

Check Also: Top 10 Best High Schools in Port Elizabeth

Apart from its vast manufacturing and real estate industries, the education sector is one of the biggest in the city; housing nearly 200 academia. Also, the city of Cape Town is widely known for its popular football club (Chippa United FC) who’s an active participant in PSL.

List of Top 10 High Schools in Cape Town

1American International School of Cape Town (AISCT)K-12
2Westerford High School (Cape Town)8-12
3Gardens Commercial High School8-12
4Claremont High School8-12
5Cape Town French SchoolK-12
6Bishops Diocesan CollegeK-12
7Harold Cressy High School8-12
8Wynberg Boys’ High School8-12
9Fairmont High School8-12
10South African College High School8-12

Top 10 Best High Schools in Cape Town, South Africa

1. American International School of Cape Town (AISCT)

TUITION FEER49,285 – R178,830 per annum
TELEPHONE(27) 21 713 2220
ADDRESS42 Soetvlei Avenue, Constantia 7806
ENROLMENTApprox. 500
SCHOOL TYPEIndependent School

The American International School of Cape Town, abbreviated as AISCT, is a private, co-educational, not-for-profit institution located in Cape Town. It was founded in 1997, and presently has more than 500 students enrolled from 50 different nationalities around the world.

AISCT has an average class size of 16 students per class, and learners are nurtured and instructed by professional teachers from around the world. AISCT campus is divided into four sections: Early Childhood Development Centre (ECD): Grizzly Cubs to Kindergarten 1; Elementary School: Kindergarten 2 to Grade 5; Middle School: Grades 6-8; and High School: Grades 9-12.

As an American school, AISCT follows the American curriculum and offers Advanced Placement (AP) classes for High School students.

In addition, the school offers French and Spanish language instruction for learners from Grade 1. In spite of being an American school, AISCT is also fully endorsed and accredited by the Western Association of Schools and Colleges (WASC) based in the United States.

2. Westerford High School (Cape Town)

TUITION FEER41, 622 – R42, 972 per annum
GRADES8 – 12
TELEPHONE021 689 9154
ADDRESSMount Road, Rondebosch, Cape Town 7700
ENROLMENTApprox. 900
SCHOOL TYPEIndependent School

Westerford High School is a public, co-educational high school situated in Newlands, Cape Town. It was established in 1953 and currently offers quality education to approximately 950 students from Grade 13 to Grade 18.

In 2009, Westerford was ranked by the Sunday Times newspaper as the top state school in South Africa, and one of the largest feeder schools for the University of Cape Town. And only a decade later, it was again named the top school in the Western Cape at the 2019 NSC Awards Ceremony.

Over the past few years, Westerford has consistently excelled in the NSC Exams and achieved a 100 percent pass rate.

As a school with nearly a thousand learners, Westerford High School has two operational campuses, which are: the Rondebosch campus and the Secondary campus.

While the former is where the main school buildings are situated, the latter is located in Newlands and is used for sporting activities.

3. Gardens Commercial High School

GRADES8 – 12
ENROLMENTApprox. 590
TELEPHONE+27 21 465 1236
ADDRESSPaddock Avenue, Gardens

Gardens Commercial High School often referred to as Gardens High, is a co-educational secondary school in Cape Town. Established in 1961, Gardens High caters to students aged 12 to 18 years.

Since its inception, the school aims to support learners with exceptional interest, talent, and aptitude in the field of business, commerce, and management.

Gardens High offers a wide range of subjects in the fields of Accounting, Business Studies, Economics, and Computer Applications Technology.

With over 60 years and counting, Gardens High strives to nurture and develop students to achieve their true potential. In addition, the school also prides itself on providing quality education in a disciplined and caring environment.

For more information about enrolling your child at Gardens High, follow the link to the official school page.

4. Claremont High School

TUITION FEER9 400 per annum
TELEPHONE021 671 0645
ADDRESSMolteno Road, Claremont, 7708
GRADES8 – 12

Claremont High School is a co-educational, public, innovative Western Cape Education Department (WCED) high school situated in Cape Town. Since its establishment in 2011, the school strives to create an enabling and challenging environment focused on producing outstanding academic performance among learners from backgrounds that do not allow access to the best quality education.

Claremont High offers high-quality education for students in Grade 8 to Grade 12. As an accredited secondary school, Claremont High awards the National Senior Certificate or NSC at the end of secondary schooling.

Claremont High School is highly rated across the Western Cape region, and it is famous for its outstanding passing rate year in, year out. Claremont is arguably one of the best high schools in Cape Town.

5. Cape Town French School

TUITION FEER15 000 per annum
TELEPHONE27 (0)21 461 25 08
ADDRESSGardens, Cape Town, 8001
ENROLMENTApprox. 500
SCHOOL TYPEFrench School

The Cape Town French School is a French international school situated in Cape Town. It was established in 1987 by a group of French citizens resident in Cape Town to provide a French Curriculum to their children. Cape Town French School is a two-campus institution.

The Primary campus is located within the former primary school building of Tafelberg Remedial School in Sea Point, while the Middle and High School campus, also known as the Lycée Français du Cap is situated on Hope Street, Gardens. Despite operating from different ends, they both offer quality education to learners across the city of Cape Town.

As Cape Town’s population keeps increasing, so is the enrolment application at the Cape Town French School. Presently, the Sea Point campus houses over 329 students in both pre-school and primary school. Also, the Hope Street campus, on the other hand, caters to nearly 300 middle and high school students.

Top Secondary Schools in Cape Town

6. Bishops Diocesan College

TUITION FEER158 620 per annum
GENDERBoys’ School
TELEPHONE+27 (0)21 659 1000
ADDRESS65 Campground Road, Rondebosch, Cape Town, 7700
ENROLMENTApprox. 500
SCHOOL TYPEIndependent School

Bishops Diocesan College is an independent day and boarding all-boys school situated in the city of Cape Town. The school is made up of three schools, which are: the Pre-Preparatory, or Kindergarten (Grade N to Grade 2), Preparatory, or Junior School (Grade 3 to Grade 7), and the Senior School, or College (Grade 8 to Grade 12). Bishops Diocesan College is a complete school, catering to all kinds of students.

With a long and proud history, the College was established in 1849 by the then Bishop, Robert Gray. Over the past decades, the College has recorded a tremendous amount of achievements, coupled with the confidence it is actively instilling in families across Cape Town.

Bishops Diocesan College is a fee-paying school. Therefore, parents are required to either pay their children’s school fees on a termly basis or annually.

However, while the annual tuition fee for Grades 8 to 11 day-students is R158 620; tuition and boarding fees per student can go up to R277 800 per annum. However, it is advisable to always check the school website for updates on the tuition and fee structure.

7. Harold Cressy High School

TELEPHONE+27 21 461 3810
ADDRESS103 Roeland Street, Cape Town, 7925
ENROLMENTApprox. 700

Harold Cressy High School seldom misses out on the list of best secondary schools in Cape Town. And for many reasons, it has always, and will continually remain one of those names that pop up in the heads of parents each time they are looking for a perfect high school for their child(ren).

Not only does the school has a long and rich history since its establishment in early 1951. But it also maintains a good track record in academic excellence over the past years.

Today, Cressy is regarded by parents and families across the region as one of the best high schools in Cape Town. Also, it is one of a few secondary schools in Cape Town that boasts of more than half a thousand learners. Cressy currently caters to over 700 learners from Grade 8 to Grade 12.

8. Wynberg Boys’ High School

TUITION FEER52 500 per annum
GENDERBoys’ School
GRADES8 – 12
TELEPHONE021 797 4247
ADDRESSLovers Walk, Wynberg, Cape Town, 7800
ENROLMENTApprox. 850
SCHOOL TYPEFee-paying School

Wynberg Boys’ High School, abbreviated as WBHS, is a modern, forward-thinking boys’ school located in Cape Town. Founded in 1841, it is the most prestigious and one of the oldest all-boys secondary schools in Cape Town and South Africa at large. As a single-gender high school, however, enrolment is exclusive only to boys.

Well over a century and still counting, Wynberg Boys’ academic excellence speaks for itself. The school has long transformed from what used to be a single room with 65 learners to what is now a vast stimulating, innovative environment with over 850 students.

Wynberg Boys’ High School has long made a name for itself. And today, it is grooming and nurturing students from Cape Town and all around South Africa.

9. Fairmont High School

TUITION FEER31 600 per annum
TELEPHONE+27 (021) 976-1147
ADDRESSMedway Cres, Durbanville, Cape Town, 7550
ENROLMENTApprox. 1,450

Fairmont High School, commonly referred to as Fairmont, is a co-educational, English Medium School situated in the Northern Suburbs of Cape Town.

As a school with approximately 1,450 students, Fairmont strives for academic excellence for all its pupils; while maintaining a strong academic environment to nurture and develop learners to achieve their full potential.

Right from its early days (in 1977), Fairmont has always been a school that attracts several hundreds of students across the city’s suburbs and beyond. Over the past couple of years, however, Fairmont High School is still regarded to be one of the best high schools in Cape Town Northern Suburbs and arguably one of the best in the country.

As a fee-paying school, Fairmont fees per student from Grade 8 to Grade 12 are R31 600, payable over 10 months, or, in other words, R3160 per month.

10. South African College High School

TUITION FEER52 800 – R53 060 per annum (excl. R53 400 Boarding Fees)
GENDERBoys’ School
TELEPHONE+27 (0)21 689 4164
ADDRESSNewlands Avenue, Newlands, Cape Town, 7700
SCHOOL TYPEFee-paying School

South African College High School, most commonly known as SACS, is an all-boys high school located in Cape Town. Founded in 1829, SACS pride itself on being the oldest standing school in South Africa. Apart from the quality of education it has to offer, SACS also has a plethora of state-of-the-art facilities.

As a school with enormous boarding facilities, learners from Grade 8 to Grade 12 are offered the opportunity to live in the hostel. However, the boarding facilities at both Michaelis (Grade 8 to 9 borders) and Rosedale (Grade 10 to 12 borders) can only accommodate a few numbers of students.

However, for parents who would want their children to stay in-campus, it is important to check the school website to find out more information in regards to hostel vacant fees.

Final Thoughts

Cape Town is one of three legislative capital of South Africa. With over 5 million people, it is increasingly developing into one of South Africa’s economic hubs. Over the past few years, Cape Town has seen a tremendous surge in real estate, many families and businesses are relocating to the city, and the construction industries are making huge gains.

These rapid growths, however, stem from the 2010 FIFA World Cup that took place at the time. Cape Town has long transitioned into a dynamic, modern city, and schooling is gradually becoming more competitive.

Having said that, when in the quest for the best high schools in Cape Town, the quality of school and academic performance should not be the only criteria to look out for.

Other things to be considered include the sporting facilities, plus whether the school is co-educational or single-gender. With these in mind, you are most certainly going to choose the best school for your child.

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